What Needs to be Fixed for Christians to Regain Faith in Twitter: An Open Letter to Elon Musk
Dear Mr. Musk,
I quit Twitter some time ago. I have no doubt that I would have been thrown off eventually, but my disgust over the rampant censorship, of which you yourself are aware, was enough to make me pull the plug on my own.
You see, I’m one of those people who likes to express truths that are contrary to the popular narrative. I tend to make statements that not so long ago would have sounded like common sense, but in today’s cultural circus are branded as disinformation, propaganda or even hate speech. You know, statements like this:
- Killing infants (whether inside or outside the womb) is wrong.
- Children should be protected from being sexualized.
- Voter fraud and election corruption are things we should be concerned about.
- Injecting a vaccine (or anything else) into your body can have unknown consequences.
- There’s nothing wrong with calling a man a man, even if he has convinced himself and others that he is a woman (and vice versa).
But it seems “disinformation” is in the eye of the beholder, doesn’t it? That’s why there’s been a sense of panic among the far left now that you’ve sealed the deal to buy Twitter. Your promise to bring transparency and veracity to an organization that has grown drunk on censorship power has made the world sit up and take notice.
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Guess what? Christians are taking notice too. I decided to return, but most are cautiously waiting to see what changes you are going to make before they consider coming back to Twitter. We’re intrigued by your promises to clean up the platform and make it an open forum for opinion, and we want to believe you. We’re hesitant because there are underlying factors that are more important to us than just tweeting. Here are three reasons why the situation is important to us as Christians.
I’ve heard you express on several occasions your “obsession with truth.” That’s something we have in common. We’re obsessed with truth too. Christians believe Jesus when He said that He is truth. Jesus is truth incarnate. We want the whole world to know truth. And we are not afraid to stand for truth.
It’s More Than Just Free Speech at Stake
It’s no coincidence that freedom of speech is found side by side with freedom of religion in the First Amendment. The two go hand in hand. It’s no secret that the number of Christians in America has decreased dramatically over recent decades. As a pastor, I know full well that the trend of this culture is moving away from the Christian God. But just because something is popular, that doesn’t mean it is true — and conversely, just because something is unpopular, that doesn’t make it false. No one has a right to tell us what we can or cannot believe just because it goes against the latest trends. Our right to observe our faith mirrors our right to proclaim our faith.
Censorship is Just the First Step Toward Persecution
Heinrich Heine said, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” In other words, there is an escalation in aggression that always takes place if left unchecked. History has repeatedly shown that if someone cannot silence you through argument because truth is not on their side, they will attempt to silence you through censorship. And when that doesn’t work, they will move to silence you by force.
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Our right as Christians to declare our beliefs, encourage each other in our faith, and argue against opposing ideas is important.
So, Mr. Musk, what will it take to get Christians to come back to Twitter? I think many of these items are already on your list:
- Edit the fact-checkers. Time and again, we’ve seen these so-called “impartial” and “unbiased” parties propagate their own agendas or feed the popular narrative.
- Keep the humor. Sarcasm, satire and wit have all been dumbed down thanks to a perpetually offended culture.
- Don’t censor political views. Opposing views can irritate and frustrate. But this is America, where we should always defend our opponents’ right to express those views.
- Be unconventional. This is your forte! While I support an individual’s right to voice their opinion, I also support the personal right and choice of an individual to tune out voices and themes they find obnoxious, aggressive, confrontational or vulgar. Find a way to balance free speech with security and privacy — whether that be through a rating system, similar to the movie industry, creating more robust private group capabilities or better vetting and verifying users. There must be creative ways to keep the public square a clean and productive space.
- Conquer the troll bots. The world has enough conflict with just humans.
- Ban banning. Unless a user is breaking the law, silencing them through banning and removing them from Twitter is not the way things should be addressed.
- Display algorithm transparency. Let the public see what’s going on, and encourage participation and debate for making the process better.
Mr. Musk, let’s get together and talk about these things in person. Let’s talk about Twitter, God, evolution, corruption in California, Intelligent Design, life after death, Mars, cars or anything that moves us further in our mutual pursuit of truth.
I’d love to have an open dialogue where we civilly agree on some things and disagree on others. After all, that’s the point — isn’t it?
And remember, Christians buy Teslas too.
Jack Hibbs is the founder and senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Southern California and the voice of the Real Life television and radio broadcasts. Dedicated to proclaiming truth and standing boldly in opposition to false doctrines that distort the Word of God and the character of Christ, Jack’s voice challenges today’s generation to both understand and practice an authentic Christian worldview. Get more timely content at JackHibbs.com.